Sunday February 8

This morning's Bulletin featured the central panel of Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam."  The panel, called "The Hand of God," shows two hands reaching out to each other, their fingertips not quite touching.  One hand is God's and one is Man's. 
Hands were the dominant imagery we considered throughout the service.  Mark recounts how Jesus touched and healed a feverish woman and then many others who were afflicted with disease and demons.  And so we prayed for the touch of Jesus and the promise of ultimate wellness that the Bible brings. 
In her sermon, Karen posed the questions: "Can God still heal us?  Does God still intervene?"  She recounted a story of Botswana during the depth of the HIV-AIDS crisis, wondering how people could relate to Mark's gospel when a single healing touch was not available to those who were suffering.  They were people who were marginalized and isolated just as the sick were in Jesus' day.  But although physical healing might not have occurred in Botswana, where there was togetherness and touching and talking, care-givers found that isolation was defeated and people found hope.
I was struck by Karen's statement that for some people we will be the only Jesus they ever know, the Jesus who comes upon us and pushes us to overcome division, to practice friendship and to touch one another.  Perhaps that is the message of Michelangelo too.  People must reach out to God just as He reaches out to give us life.  And sometimes God requires His people to bridge the final gap between outstretched fingertips to bring healing and hope to those who need His touch.
Rob R.